Sunday, April 20, 2014

Reading choices for children and how to encourage kids to read

Here's an interesting article on reading choices of Kiwi kids. It also includes some tips on encouraging children to read.  To read the article, click the link beliw.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to learn anything in 20 hours

This TED presentation is quite interesting.  The general point is that anyone can learn pretty much anything to quite a competent level in just 20 hours.  This is likely to be a little more appealing than the 10,000 hour theory made so well known by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, especially for those of us who already have a full diary!

To find out how the 20 hour learning theory works, you simply need to spend only 20 minutes watching this TED talk!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Slow Parenting

I love pod casts!  They're a great way to get quality information on just about anything.  I listen to them when I'm out running, at the gym, walking my dog, hanging out the washing ... pretty much anytime when I'm on my own and doing something that doesn't require too much thinking (and I want to think about something!).

A recent pod cast I've come across is The Wellness Family.  Plenty of great advice on what it takes to raise a family and be a great parent.  The first in the series really made me think about some of the hyper-parenting that I do with my own two daughters!  The blurb for the pod cast is:

'Hyper-parenting…it involves over-scheduling our kids, buying them lots of stuff, and wanting them to be more genius than everyone else in the class. Too much pressure? Yes…both for our kids and ourselves. The alternative is slow parenting. It doesn’t involve doing everything at a snail’s pace. Instead, it’s about listening to our instincts, making our own choices, and celebrating family life. You’ll take away so many lovely ideas from my chat with guru of the slow movement, Carl Honore'.

To listen to the pod cast, click here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Social Justice - One person doing his bit!

This You Tube clip by Casey Neistat shows what can be done to help others when a little lateral thinking and creativity is used.  Take the next 6 minutes and 45 seconds to see what I mean ...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How to learn a language online with Duolingo

Duolingo is simply the best ever online language learning programme I have ever come across.  It is free, provides instant feedback to the learner, has no advertising, and is very engaging.  Duolingo comes as a web resource or an app on both IOS and Android.

I have been using the IOS app for a few months to learn Spanish.  After several years and numerous programmes I have made only very limited language learning progress and my interest has always waned. This hasn't been the case with Duolingo; I am hoping to be a competent speaker of Spanish by the end of the year through using Duolingo.

The only limitation is the small range of languages that are available: Spanish; French; German; Portuguese and Italian.  However, don't let this stop you.  In regards to Spanish, the British Ministry of Education, after extensive research and analysis, selected it as the most worthwhile language for students to learn.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Instagram and Twitter age limit frustrations

I find it very frustrating that there are age limits for some Internet resources that could be so valuable in a primary school class. I had hoped to set up student accounts for Twitter and Instagram as a means of students connecting with their families and teachers, but have since found that there is a 13 plus age requirement for both services. I am hoping that this can be overcome with parental consent and setting up a family account.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

How to learn the ukulele

I have been learning the ukulele for a while now and have made pretty good progress through using a number of web resources.  However, I do need to jump from site to site to find what I need, and have not, until now, found the one site that is free and is really good for a beginner.  The site I am recommending for beginners is on You Tube; it's The Ukulele Teacher.  Click here to check it out.